Category Archives: Health and wellness

Interesting Discovery about myself

I took my youngest daughter to the store for her to buy a present for one of her friend’s birthday.  She decided to buy a WebKinz.  Fine.  We go to the Toy store and they are completely out, but the lady says that there are more next door at "The Chocolate Factory".  We go next door and as we enter the smell of different kinds of Chocolate totally envelope us.  I’m not a choco-holic by any stretch of the imagination but I didn’t think the smell would bother me as much as it did; I used to work for Nestle for goodness sakes! We find the Webkinz and by this time–I’m nauseated. 
 
I figure it must be an age thing or something.  First, melon.  Then cinnamon…now chocolate…
 

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My gym is taking it to the next level!

When I moved here to the Seattle area, I needed to find a club/gym to belong to as I am a pretty active person.  I chose ProClub since it is one of the clubs where Microsoft will pay the membership fee. I previously blogged on this club comparing it to my club back in Phoenix.  ProClub has definitely upped its level in being about fitness with the opening of its "Performance Center".  Nice place!
 
PerformanceBlackTurfPerformanceFrontdeskPerformanceGreenTurf
 
As you may or may not know, I am a triathlete.  With the opening of the Performance Center (PC), they also created training for endurance sports specifically.  When I arrived at the club I was handed a flyer for the new Triathlete Training program that they started.  OOOOHHH….then reason woke me up:  Talk to your doctor.  I can’t believe I actually should *have* to do that, but I will.  Hopefully he’ll give me the OK.

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The Lovenox Injection

 

For those of you with patience and a strong stomach; here it is.  The dirt on my stomach injections.  I get these twice a day and will continue to get them for the next 3-5 days….yummy…
 
You’ll notice that when she takes my blood pressure I grimace…the nurse just kept pumping up the sleeve.  She was the freakin’ Energizer Bunny on that pump…
 
I would have taped the Anti-Coagulation clinic but Nurse Ratchet wouldn’t have it.  New Yorker, y’know…

Lovenox Injection

  http://images.video.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: Lovenox Injection

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So…I’m in the hospital…this sucks

I went out for a run yesterday.  cold Saturday morning.  It was a half mile to the park where I was going to do some pushups, situps and jog.  I didn’t get half way there when I was out of breath.  I walked it the rest of the way.  Then the Chest pain came; and then the numbness in my arm.  I rested.  I felt a little better.  I thought to myself, "Maybe I should just go back and rest for a bit."  When I got home, I didn’t feel any better so just as a precaution I call 911.  By the time the EMTs get to my house, I’m feeling better.  They run some preliminary tests and when they are all done, I’m feeling a lot better.  The head EMT insists that I go in for more tests.  Fine.

They run a battery of blood tests and say that although my cardiac enzymes are normal levels, there is something else that is an issue.  The give me a chest XRay, CT Scan, Ultra Sound, and something else.  All I can think of is going home.  The doctor comes back and says, "Well…there is a problem.  We thought from the blood tests that you would have clots but at first we couldn’t find them as they usually accumulate in your legs.  You don’t have any in your legs.  That is good.  The bad part is that they are in your lungs.  Both lungs.  This is an extremely serious condition.  15% of sudden deaths are due to this.  We are keeping you for a couple of days."

Hospital2

The doctors say I have pulmonary embolism. I have to stay in the hospital for a few days while they continue to do blood tests. I’m baffling them because I don’t fit the profile: (I don’t smoke, drink, I exercise regularly, I’ve never been in the hospital, no medical history, etc) they say I am a fluke. The medical regimen is not for the faint of heart.  I have to take two shots of Lovenox a day plus a pill (Kumedin?).  for a LONG time, possibly for life.

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Being Thankful

So another Thanksgiving Day has come and gone. 
It’s called Thanksgiving for a reason; and I missed that this year.
No, I had turkey, stuffing, being with family etc…but I *MISSED* the reason for the season.
 
Missed it completely.  Like a high-brow joke that I didn’t get.
I was so steeped in my own miseries and concerns that I probably committed the most heinous of all crimes (next to murder): Being Ungrateful/UnThankful
I was so selfish yesterday that reflection upon it almost brings me to tears of embarrassment.
It took a blog of an estranged friend (and I’m not really sure if that term is correct) to motivate me to write this entry.
 
I will probably continue the list for my New Year’s Eve message, but these people need to be thanked by me NOW for their impact:
 
Johnson Har –I’m calling you out by name.  You were there at a critical time and still are with me.  Thank you for your compassion when it couldn’t be found elsewhere.  Hong Kong will Rock!!
David Elfassy — You too.  The opportunities in 2007 have allowed me to extend opportunities to others.  Thank you
KRosen — I remember in 2005 on a boat in Amsterdam you and Ryan told me how cool it was to drink the Kool-Aid.  You were right. Thanks for the opportunity to do things I would not be doing right now if it hadn’t been for you.
JOleson— Thanks for recommending me to my current manager.  Have fun in the Caribbean.
BBaer — Thank you for your patience.  It’s not easy being my mentor.
DPuggie — I learned so much from you in such a short time.  Only MS was able to make me leave your team and I had other opps.  You are the perfect manager.  I mean it.  Perfect. 
Pepe Reyes — Me enseñaste de la importancia de ser agradecido…no aprendí bien.  Eres el mejor ejemplo para mi en ese aspecto.  Algun dia ojalá podria ser como tu.
DandABalter — Every time I speak at a conference I reflect on that day in 1992 when you changed my life.  Forever and ever will I be indebted to you.
DMelber — Thanks for your confidence and allowing me to redeem myself.  We need to talk; about…"stuff".
KREES — Por tu oído.  Tu amistad.  Tu comprensión.  Muchisimas gracias  Eres el mero mero.
MTNguyen — How ironic that it would be you to inspire me to be thankful.  Thanks!  Remember, you are unique (like everyone else) and there are TONS of people "like you"…just open your eyes.
 
There is a hymn called "When upon Life’s Billows you are Tempest Tossed"…it goes on to say "Count your blessings…name them one by one…count your many blessings see what God hath done".  The above list of people is a testament to that truth.  I could go on and on.  (Johnson…you’re right…maybe I am more sensitive than a guy should be LOL)
 
So as we gear up for the end of the year remember:  Be thankful!
 
 

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Pro Club vs LifeTime Fitness

One of the benefits of working for Microsoft is a free membership to the Health Club of your choice.  Pro Club is a premier health club here in the Redmond/Bellevue area.  I was a member of LifeTime Fitness and had been for about four years.  I thought I would compare and contrast them here according to things I thought a club should have.
 
PRESENTATION
This is what the club looks like from outside, the area in which it is located and basically that which would draw in new members
 
Pro Club (PC) – Located in a residential area, next door to a complex of condos called "Wimbeldon".  Getting to parking is a little confusing at first, but there is ample parking.
 
LifeTime Fitness (LTF) – Located in a residential area.  There are a number of health food stores and athletic leaning stores all around.  A lot of glass gives it a nice appearance.
 
VOTE:
A Draw.  They are both good looking clubs and the areas they are in are very upscale.
 
AMENITIES
What you get besides weights and cardio equipment
 
PC – Over the top.  Concierge Desk that handles everything from arranging a floral arrangement to washing your car to doing dry cleaning, etc  IN HOUSE.  The lockers are very high tech, but you better remember your code and locker number as there is nothing to remind you of either.  The Club Shop has apparel (not just athletic wear) and I even purchased batteries there today.  The cafeterias (yes PLURAL) are very nice, and the "Adult Only" (not NC-17, it’s that they serve alcohol) restaurant has its own chef.  The showers are very clean and provide soap, shampoo, and conditioner.  Muzak is playing throughout the lockerroom.  The child center is a bonafide Day Care Center.  The Spa looks nice; I had a haircut there (she did OK).  This place is definitely a CLUB, not just a GYM.
 
LTF – One cafeteria (with wireless internet access) has more than just food.  There are also supplements and other health related consumables.  LTF is much more "sports" related as there are big screen TVs EVERYWHERE showing some athletic competition happening somewhere in the world.  LTF even sponsors its own triathlon that is televised on ESPN.  The showers are even close to being as nice but there is a lounge where you can watch a big screen TV playing ESPN.  The music is much more contemporary and usually the audio piped in from some Music Video Network.  The spa is an experience.  I had the best massage there EVER.
 
VOTE:
Pro Club is a CLUB/SPA experience.  More amenities than you can shake a stick at.
 
 
CORE
The WHY.  To get in shape.  What a club offers in the way of athletic events, the personal training, equipment, etc.
 
PC – The standard sprinkling of cardio equipment done under dimmed lights.  Tons of treadmills, didn’t see too many stairmasters or other equipment, but that may be because I hadn’t gone to one of the other four floors, or they might be located in the "Womens’ Gym" (yes, they have their own….isn’t that against the law?  I mean, why isn’t there a MEN’S ONLY gym?)  The programs are only two days a week and none include a MAP or RMR.  They do have squash courts, raquetball courts (separate) and tennis courts.  they have five pools.  The sheer number of Personal Trainers is boggling.  There must be over 100; all with degees in either Physical Education, Kinisieolgy, or the like.
LTF – Much more "down to business".  Tons of programs to satisfy the warrior.  The BootCamp program is 5-days of "in your face" punishment.  TEAM Weight Loss is not only into working your body, but your mind as well as nutrition classes are held every week.  They provide MAP and RMR testing as well as hooking you up with a "Dunk Tank" BMI test.  Five Pools in addition to having water slides both inside and outside.
 
VOTE
LifeTime Fitness is much more for people serious about getting into shape.
 
 
CONVENIENCE
Freedom to do what you want, they way you want, when you want
 
PC – The only downer about Pro Club is the hours of operation.  BIG DOWNER.  It’s only open from 5am to 10pm.  ’nuff said
 
LTF – 24 hours!  I thought that being open 24 hours was the industry standard.  I guess not.
 
 
VOTE
LTF by a long shot.  I should be able to go work out any time of the day.  Especially if I need to get to work EARLY and I don’t get there at "conventional" hours.  5am seems to be OK to open, but a club should definitely be open past 10pm.  Maybe 1am or something, but certainly not 10pm.
 
 
After looking at the different categories, I think that each club has its advantage WAY over the other.  I must say that the membership fee of free for Pro Club is a big plus, but that was Microsoft’s doing.  If LTF were here maybe Microsoft would give us a membership there.  LTF has yet to open up a club on the West Coast.  maybe in the future.
 
 

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Triathlon Training

OK…so one day a friend comes up to me and says, "Rick…let’s do a triathlon!"  At first I wanted to know if he were smoking something and then I came to my senses (the guy is straighter than an arrow) and just said that he was out of his mind.  I am 5’11" and at the time I weighed a hefty 240lbs and was 35% fat.
 
It’s now 6 weeks later.  I agreed to do it because it is a "mini" triathlon (100m swim, 10K bike ride, 3.2K run)…even *I* can do that!!! 
 
I now weigh 217lbs and my BMI is 25%.  My goal is 200lbs by the time the event gets here on April 22. 
 
I’ve done two mock trials and the first time I did the ordeal in 49:21.  My second time I did 45:01.  My goal is to do it all under 40 minutes.

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